Mods, DIY & Lens Adapting Tutorials & Guides

Loading a 120 film camera with a pair of 3D printed 35mm film adapters

December 5, 2016

I’ve just loaded my Lubitel 166b 120 6×6 format film camera with a roll of 35mm film… so thought I’d write a quick post to demonstrate how.

First I ordered a pair of 3D printed 35mm film adapters off Sam Cornwell’s Etsy. (Sam’s website Photgotraphy is also worth checking out). They came in the post a few days later. Once I’d found a previously missing take up spool, I set about loading the camera.


Step 1. Load it into the camera. It felt a little snug, but actually fit perfectly when I closed the camera.


Step 2. Feed it into the take-up spool. No problems here.


Step 3. I need to work out how much to advance the roll after each frame is shot. To do this I put a bit of tape on the winder and made a mark pointing to the top of the camera.



I then put a tiny mark on the film and with the back of the camera open, wound it to see what sort of rotation would see the mark past the film gate. Luckily, two complete winds gave it just slightly more wind than is needed. I’m not worried about wasting a bit of film with an experiment like this.

Step 4. Close the back of the camera and make sure it’s light tight – that little red window is no good to me here. I cut the a bit out of a film canister lid and taped it over the hole.




Step 5. Wind on. I gave it 4 complete winds of the knob. I feel like another might be safer… but I’m living dangerously…

Just a bit of fun… Keep an eye out for the results!

You can get a pair of 3D printed 35mm film adapters off Sam Cornwell’s Etsy – £6.46! Bargain!

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  • Reply
    Sam Cornwell
    December 5, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Hi Hamish! Thank you so much. Great starter tutorial for anyone wishing to give them a go.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      December 5, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      No probs! 🙂

    • Reply
      December 9, 2016 at 6:12 am

      Great post.
      Alternatively if money is no issue a new Lomography Lubitel 166+ is capable of shooting with 35mm film out of the box when you mount the so called Lubikin 35mm kit which is included with the camera. It’s called shooting in panoramic mode.

  • Reply
    Peter Choy
    December 5, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Interesting! Would a similar hack for running 35mm film in a 127 camera be possible? Could it fit?

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      December 5, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    • Reply
      Steve Ford
      December 11, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Peter, it would depend on the 127 camera. I’ve managed to drag a roll of 135 through a Kodak Brownie before now (the oval plastic one, it has enough space inside) but you’d have no chance with anything that has tight film containers fitted just to a 127 reel like a VPK or a VP Twin.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Interested to see the results Hamish, have had a printed set of these for a year now but just haven’t got around to trying this!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Did you have to modify you Lubitel in any way? I have previous version of this camera, Lubitel 2, and it has little spring and the bottom that provides tension for the film spool and with it 35 mm film cannister does not fit properly.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      December 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Nope, just pushed it in

  • Reply
    December 9, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Hey Hamish, happy holidays!

    Just a quick note, I’m not expecting you to post this, since it may take biz away from your guy, but there is this guy here in the u.s., that does a whole bunch of 3d printing. Not to sure if you know him…


  • Reply
    Solography with a Solarcan - Does exactly what it says on the tin! - 35mmc
    June 10, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    […] through another one of his maker endeavours – I’d bought a couple of 3D printed 35mm to 120 film adapters off him and we’d got chatting via social media. By the time his Kickstarter was a success, I knew […]

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